Explaining Rhetorical Strategies From The Krakauer And Sacks Readings

1488 words - 6 pages

In Jon Krakauer’s “Selections of Into the Wild” and Oliver Sacks’ “The Mind’s Eye,” the writers research and write about the lives of individuals who seek and experience the world differently from the way many people do and who may even be said to confront a different reality. Krakauer’s argument is one of Chris McCandless’ trying time to “find” himself and during that time he discovers the importance of interdependence. Sacks’ argument is that the mind is a separate entity from the brain.In “Into the Wild,” Krakauer retraces the journey of Chris McCandless into the Alaskan wilderness and his eventual fate. In “ ...view middle of the document...

This is ironic because McCandless eventually died from starvation. Many people criticize for his foolish mistake on embarking on the trip unprepared. An example of this criticism comes from Ken Thomson, “The kid didn’t know what the hell he was doing up here” (Krakauer 300). McCandless went on the trip in order to “find” himself, but during the trip, he discovered the necessity for interdependence. “McCandless on the other hand, went too far in the opposite direction. He tried to live entirely off the country – and he tried to do it without bothering to master beforehand the full repertoire of crucial skills” (Krakauer 303). This statement showed McCandless’ arrogance in thinking that he could “find” himself on his own. McCandless was able to learn that to survive by yourself, you need the help of others. “And he was fully aware when he entered the bush that he had given himself a perilously slim margin for error. He knew precisely what was at stake” (Krakauer 303). McCandless knew what he had to lose, but he knew that it was necessary to further himself. He knew the consequences, which is one of Krakauer’s claims, that McCandless was not completely ignorant. Krakauer wrote this work in the hopes that the readers would be able to connect with McCandless whose abstract life varied far from the average person. Andy Horowitz, one of McCandless’ friends at Woodson High School, stated that McCandless “was born into the wrong century. He was looking for more adventure and freedom than today’s society gives people” (Krakauer 298).In “The Mind’s Eye,” Sacks uses the rhetorical strategy of the constant barrage of questions causing the reader to think as well as pursue the answer to the question. Sacks asks the question “but to what extent are we – our experiences, our reactions – shaped, predetermined, by our brains, and to what extent do we shape our own brains” (Sacks 474). One of Sacks claims is that loss of visual imagery is a prerequisite for the full development of the rest of the senses. He explains recent research into the flexibility of human brain functioning. He informs us that studies of the brains of deaf or blind people, who lost their hearing or vision after developing their auditory or visual brain centers, show that the brain has the amazing capacity to reorganize itself. Functions can be re-allocated so that visual processing activity shows up in the auditory cortex of deaf people, and auditory processing activity can be seen taking place in the visual cortex of blind people. Moreover, documented differences exist among people in their preferred way to acquire information about objects and concepts. For example, some blind people are more instinctively visual but have developed their auditory and other sensory skills to a greater degree than they might have had their vision not deteriorated. Other people are m...


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